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You should train the drives, and purchase a separate 12 volt power pack with the correct cigarette lighter style power cable. Calibrate motors BEFORE you train the drives with the same power source you will use outside at night.
If this is a GPS model-- and new--- I would execute a RESET on the hand controller-- calibrate motors and train the drives and take the scope outside and get a Satellite link and do a two star automatic alignment.
Make SURE you are centering the correct alignment stars. By the way TRAINING must be done in alt az mode before you put the scope on a wedge-- it cannot be done in polar mode.
1. During the day, point the scope towards an object and align the finder scope to the telescope. 2. First object at night should be the moon. it will verify your finderscope alignment and you should have a clear view of the moon. 3. Use your lowest power eyepiece (largest number in mm) and point the finderscope to a star. The star should be in the center of the eyepiece.. If not, adjust the finder until it and the scope are centered. 4. You can use your higher power lens on the star nd it should still be in the FOV (field of view) 5. Scope may need to be aligned (collimated). Instructions on this should be included with the scope
1. Failure to follow the manual and do all the initial setup. Time, date, and site, and usually training the motors.
2. I don't understand #2.
3. Focus until the stars are pinpoints of light. If you see donuts with a dark center you are NOT in focus. Practice during the daytime on a distant object using the eyepiece with the largest number written on it. The moon should be your first target at night.
4. Many things, broken gears, failure to train the scope, grease on the clutches, hand controller is set for terrestrial viewing instead of astronomical viewing so tracking is NOT turned on.
Read my TIPS about GOTO scopes in my profile page.
Before you panic I would update the firmware/software on the telescope. With an LX200 interface cable you
can upgrade the software in your telescope from your PC by going to
Meade's web site at www.meade.com
Download Meade's ASU (Autostar Update Utility) and the latest
software for your Autostar II absolutely free. You can also use the ASU
to add Comets, Asteroids, Satellites, and User Objects to your Autostar
II with a few simple clicks of the mouse.
This makes sure that the scope is calibrated properly.
Do an AUTOMATIC ALIGN
when asked to center star, look for the BRIGHTEST star that is close to the scopes field of view. It will be that star you need to used the arrow keys on to centre it in the scope eyepiece and press enter.
This star can be as much as a HANDS distance away from the centre of view
If you cannot identify the star it is asking you to use, press the SCROLL DOWN key to choose another star, keep doing this until you see a star you recognise.
You can also hold down the MODE key for about 4 seconds and scroll through the scope info. Make sure you have the correct location coordinates ( Lat/Long) and the correct time set.
Select a bright object first such as a planet and GOTO it. Once you have manually centered it in the eyepiece, press ENTER and hold it for 6 seconds, the handset will say " Press ENTER to sync", press enter and you have updated the scope with the coordinates of that object.
I also have an 8i, but decided not to upgrade the controls yet. I've had my scope for about four years. I have experienced the same problem and am not sure what what causes it. Some nights, the scope tracks alignment all night, other times it does not. When the later occurs, the only thing that helps is to repeat the alignment picking new targets. One night, I had to repeat alignment 3-4 times. Also, I highly recommend a book by Michael Swanson, "The Nexstar User's Guide". It's an easy read, very specific and keeps the novice in mind. It should be included with every Nexstar sold. Go online to: http://www.Nexstarsite.com. Hope this helps. John